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A compelling and original novel set in rural Ireland after the financial crisis.  Capturing a wonderful flash moment of its cast of 21 characters. Clever, witty and moving.




Den scores


156 pages

A metal red heart continuously spins in the centre of an old rusty gate despite the fact the gate is on its last legs. So the inhabitants of this small rural community carry on when everything around them is failing. This unique novel gives a wonderful flash moment of its cast of 21 characters - starting with Bobby and finishing with his wife Triona as they cope with their individual adversities whilst at the same time telling a single distinctive story. It is set in rural Ireland after the financial collapse when work is hard to find and opportunities are very limited. Through these interlocking voices, we feel the constrictions and claustrophobia of a country community.


The writing is original and direct, moving and sad, and gives you a brief but immediate glimpse of people's lives whilst adeptly merging them together in a story. It is also darkly comic as each character is momentarily and vividly brought to life by Donal Ryan with such honesty.


Reading Den tip – not the kind of book you can pick up and put down, as you will forget the links. A gem of a book for a weekend's immersive read during these cold winter weekends.

- for people who love books -

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